What if I did not improperly take the trade secret?
If you have learned of or acquired someone’s trade secret through proper means, you have not committed trade secret misappropriation. Such proper means would include obtaining the information from public sources or public publications, licensing it from the trade secret owner, independently creating it, reverse engineering it, etc. Similarly, if you received the information from someone else and did not know or have reason to know that that person had improperly obtained the information, you are not liable for misappropriation. While the trade secret owner may file a lawsuit against you, you would not ultimately be liable for any damages. But again, this is only true if you did not know the information was improperly obtained and you had no reason to know this.